Daniel Greenfield: House Dems Plot to Use IRS to Suppress Conservatives

“It is important for us to consider how our policies can help reduce hate and violence through any vehicle,” Rep. Danny K. Davis insisted. “Any mechanism, any apparatus, any way that we possibly can.”

The mechanism and apparatus being considered was unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.

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The Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee was holding a hearing on How the Tax Code Subsidizes Hate. Its theme was removing tax-exempt status from groups it didn’t like.

The Democrats running it didn’t issue a full list of allegedly discriminatory groups they wanted the government to discriminate against, but the Committee’s Twitter list of ‘hate groups’ seem to overlap with a list assembled by the Southern Poverty Law Center and curated by Philanthropy Magazine.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s leadership was recently forced to resign over racism and sexual harassment. Its hate map had inspired a terrorist attack against the Family Research Council in D.C. In the same city where the hearing was taking place, Floyd Corkins had shot Leo Johnson, the African-American building manager, while trying to murder members of the conservative civil rights group.

“Southern Poverty Law lists anti-gay groups. I found them online,” Corkins had told the FBI.

But instead of removing the SPLC’s tax-exempt status, the Democrats on Oversight appeared to be proposing to put the SPLC and its spurious hate lists and maps in charge of tax-exempt status.

The Southern Poverty Law Center had once added a Pennsylvania bar sign to its list of hate groups. It had put an entire Iowa town on its hate map because an online troll had once proposed holding a Neo-Nazi book club there. The SPLC is as qualified to assemble lists of hate groups as Rep. Danny Davis is.

Rep. Davis was an inside expert on hate groups. He had boasted of going to Farrakhan’s home, and participating in meetings and events with him. “I don’t regard Louis Farrakhan as an aberration or anything, I regard him as an outstanding human being who commands a following of individuals who are learned and articulate and he plays a big role in the lives of thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people,” he had said of the racist leader of the Nation of Islam hate group.

Now, Rep. Davis and his fellow Democrat committee members were sanctimoniously lecturing on hate.

“Racism, in and of itself, is a public health crisis,” claimed Rep. Davis, who has collaborated with a racist.

“I disagree with Minister Farrakhan in terms of white people being devils and Jewish people being satanic,” Rep. Davis had once said. “But other than that, I think he does outstanding things for, especially for blacks who are unsure about themselves.”

Rep. John Lewis had called the hearing as chair of the Oversight Subcommittee.

“The (tax) code exempts some charitable and educational organizations from paying taxes. Some of these organizations promote hate based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity,” Rep. Lewis said in his opening statement. “I believe that the federal government should not sponsor or support groups whose hatred seeks to divide us.”

This was the same man who had been part of a meeting with Farrakhan and commented that, “Minister Farrakhan made a great presentation to us, and the Caucus is going to be very supportive.”

Also participating in the hearing was Rep. Gwen Moore who had failed to denounce Farrakhan.

The Oversight Subcommittee campaigning to fight hate had its own serious hate problem to deal with.

If Farrakhan’s racism and anti-Semitism wasn’t its idea of hate, what sort of hate did it want to fight?

On its Twitter account, the Ways and Means Committee denounced the American Family Association as one of the “over 60 hate groups” while contending that it’s “unacceptable” to allow them to maintain their tax-exempt status. What did the conservative Christian group say to infuriate the House Dems?

In the Committee’s pull quote, the AFA is accused of saying that, “homosexuality is a poor and dangerous choice.” If that’s enough to be labeled a hate group and lose your tax-exempt status, the House Dems have just made a case for stripping away the tax-exempt statuses of the Catholic Church, most traditional Christian and Jewish denominations, and the Mormon Church. Not to mention Islam.

The Catholic Church teaches that, “the homosexual inclination is objectively disordered”. Are the House Democrats proposing that it be deemed a hate group and lose its tax-exempt status?

Do they want to explain that to their voters?

The star witness of the How the Tax Code Subsidizes Hate hearing was Brandon Wolf, a gay gun control activist who had survived the Islamic terrorist attack on the Pulse nightclub. Wolf repeatedly spoke about “hate”. And Omar Mateen, the ISIS shooter who shot up Pulse, was certainly hateful.

His hatred however didn’t come from conservative Christian groups, but from the teachings of Islam.

Mateen had pledged allegiance to ISIS. The Islamic State is not a 501(c) (3) charity registered as a tax-exempt non-profit with the IRS. Bringing Wolf to a hearing about stripping the tax-exempt status of groups the Southern Poverty Law Center doesn’t like without mentioning ISIS is ridiculously dishonest.

The Pulse massacre could have been prevented if the warnings of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, the Center for Security Policy, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, and other groups targeted by the SPLC had been listened to, instead of attacked as ‘Islamophobia’.

But it just got worse from there.

Rep. Suzan Delbene had tweeted, “Over five dozen hate groups in the U.S. are paying zero taxes”. But once the hearing began, her idea of a hate group that she wanted the IRS to go after was the NRA.

Delbene was one of several House Dems who were interested in using the IRS to target the NRA.

By that point there wasn’t even a pretext that the How the Tax Code Subsidizes Hate hearing was about hate, instead of using the IRS to suppress the political opposition. The NRA is closely involved in congressional elections. Proposals by members of Congress to use a government agency to go after the NRA is a blatant case of officials suppressing funding and organizations tied to their political opponents.

It’s the stuff of North Korea, Venezuela and the Kennedy administration which was infamous for it.

The Kennedy administration’s abuse of the IRS to target political opponents on the Right and the Left had been headed up by IRS boss Mortimer Caplin. Marcus Owens, the legal expert brought in to argue the Dem case, had formerly worked for Caplin & Drysdale. That would be Mort’s old firm.

JFK’s Ideological Organizations Project had resulted in the mass targeting of conservative groups. Owens has been a reliable attack dog against conservative non-profits and for leftist non-profits.

Owens has attacked the David Horowitz Freedom Center. And it is highly likely that the Freedom Center, which has also been smeared as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, would be one of the targets of House Dems if they continue plotting to use the IRS to suppress the opposition.

The Oversight Committee had invited three witnesses who had been victimized by shootings in some way. The first witness was traumatized after an attack by an ISIS terrorist. The second witness’ daughter had been killed by an unstable man with a history of harassing women. The third dealt with the El Paso shooter. None of the killers were known members of any hate group. Let alone a tax-exempt one.

ISIS is not a tax-exempt group. Neither is 8chan. Membership in a terrorist group is already illegal.

The How the Tax Code Subsidizes Hate hearing was a blatant attempt to build a case for suppressing opposition groups like the NRA that there is no possible way to label a hate group. It echoes the usual SPLC tactic of mixing together Neo-Nazi groups with conservative organizations and calling for a purge.

The same arguments used to attack the Second Amendment were not being used to undermine the First Amendment. It’s bad enough when the SPLC does this, but it’s truly dangerous when elected officials do.

Professor Eugene Volokh repeatedly reminded House members of the First Amendment. As did GOP Subcommittee members.

Rep. Wenstrup, an Iraq War vet, recalled facing fire when a Bernie Sanders supporter shot up a congressional charity baseball game. That, as he said, was “hate”.

But not the kind of hate that the SPLC has a problem with.

Hate groups are organizations that refuse to accept coexistence with another group. The hateful rejection of coexistence by leftist has manifested itself in violence and in growing efforts to censor, sanction and destroy political opponents using governments, corporations and any means available.

“Any mechanism, any apparatus, any way that we possibly can,” Rep. Danny K. Davis had said.

How the Tax Code Subsidizes Hate was not about fighting hate. It was hate. This radical hatred is tearing apart the country and destroying the rule of law.

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Daniel Greenfield

Daniel Greenfield is a blogger and columnist born in Israel and living in New York City. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a contributing editor at Family Security Matters. Daniel's original biweekly column appears at Front Page Magazine and his blog articles regularly appear at Family Security Matters, the Jewish Press, Times of Israel, Act for America and Right Side News, as well as daily at the Canada Free Press and a number of other outlets. He has a column titled Western Front at Israel National News and his op eds have also appeared in the New York Sun, the Jewish Press and at FOX Nation. Daniel was named one of the Jewish Press' Most Worthwhile Blogs from 2006-2011 and his writing has been cited by Rush Limbaugh, Melanie Philips, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Judith Klinghoffer, John Podhoretz, Jeff Jacoby and Michelle Malkin, among others. Daniel's blog, http://sultanknish.blogspot.com, is a daily must-read.

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